Beaches in Los Angeles: Where to Go by Car?

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For many Americans, the beaches of Los Angeles mean much more than Disneyland in California or the famous Hollywood sign on a high hill.

Yes, the first thought that comes to mind when talking about the City of Angels is about the beautiful beaches. Anyone who has ever been to Los Angeles knows that it’s a great idea to pick up a 24 hour rent a car LAX right after landing at the airport and head to the sunny coast.

However, where to go and which beach to choose among all the available places? It depends on your preferences and tastes. We’ve compiled a list of the best beaches near Los Angeles – pick the one you like and go!


Leo Cabrillo Beach is the best you can think of to escape from such a big city as Los Angeles. This beach is located in Malibu, 50 km north of the popular Santa Monica. You just get into a rental car and move along the Pacific Coast Highway, also known as SR1.

This is one of the best places for walking and relaxing: the beach infrastructure offers campgrounds and picnic areas. Leo Carrillo is usually not crowded on weekdays, but in summer there can be a lot of people there anyway.

Address: 35000 W Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265

El Matador Beach

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El Matador Beach is situated 17 km away north of Malibu, making it easy to reach on your car rental vehicle. Many travelers call it the most romantic beach in Los Angeles because of the beautiful cliffs in the form of a large pocket where you can retire.

There are no tourists there even during peak season, because almost nobody knows about it. This is the best location outside of Los Angeles for sunset views and walking. You can dine outdoors overlooking the ocean and the amazingly beautiful bay.

Address: 32100 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265, USA

Malibu Beach

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Malibu Beach is a surfer’s and birdlife festival located within the Los Angeles area. It’s often windy there due to the open space and the absence of bays, but the fresh wind blowing in the face and the almost wild coastline make this beach an attractive spot to relax from the big city.

A meter from the water you will see rich houses, and the territory around them is open – you can walk right under the foundation of the house and watch birds or surfers.

Address: 23050 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu, CA 90265

Santa Monica Beach

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Santa Monica is one of the most-visited beaches in Los Angeles, with lots of locals and travelers. It provides excellent infrastructure for sports and outdoor activities. There’s a roller-skating track along the ocean and a parking lot to leave your rental car.

After relaxing on the beach, you can go shopping in Santa Monica and dine at Father’s Office – this is a cult place where you can eat well and recharge your batteries.

Address: 380 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Venice Beach

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Locals don’t really like this beach, but travelers from all countries simply adore it. Venice is a beach where you can see many famous people in addition to sand, ocean and surf.

The center of attraction of Venice Beach is the Ocean Front Walk, a boardwalk that often appears in Hollywood films. At the end of Washington Boulevard there’s a pier where you can go fishing. Venice is the most popular and most traveled beach in Los Angeles, and you simply should enjoy it.

Address: 3100-2700 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291

Manhattan Beach 

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Driving your rental car to Manhattan Beach is a must-have item on your travel list. Manhattan Beach is the opposite of Venice Beach – it’s solid and respectable. On the ocean shore you’ll see expensive one-two-storey houses, a walkway, excellent beach infrastructure and a minimum of people. Surfing is also available there.

Nearby there’s a similar place to relax called Redondo Beach, where you can walk along the ocean. Manhattan Beach is a city inside the big Los Angeles with a large variety of cafes and restaurants.

Address: 400-500 The Strand, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

Hermosa Beach

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Hermosa Beach is located near Manhattan Beach. It has the same standard infrastructure, but in addition there’s Pier Avenue with shops and bars. It’s recommended to come there closer to sunset.

Hermosa Beach is a great place to go rollerblading or just take a walk along the ocean. A several kilometers long path connects the popular Los Angeles beaches of Redondo and Manhattan. In the evening it’s worth spending the sunset with a glass of cold beer. However, leave your rented car in the overnight parking before doing this.

Address: Hermosa Ave. and 33rd St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

Cabrillo Beach

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The beach is located near the quiet town of San Pedro in the Point Fermin Park. It will take you about half an hour to get there by car rental vehicle.

The breakwater divides the beach in two. The first one is where surfers hang out, while the other is occupied by families and tourists. There are organized picnic areas on the beach, so bring food and drinks with you.

Near the beach is the Cabrillo marine aquarium. In late summer and early autumn, Point Fermin Park is one of the best places to watch whales that migrate along the coast.

Address: 3720 Steven M. White Dr., San Pedro, CA 90731

Beaches in Los Angeles: Where to Go by Car?

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